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Frequency–Modulated Continuous–Wave Millimeter–Band Radar for Volcanic Ash Detection

Description

The use of conventional weather radar in vulcanology leads to two problems: the radars often use wavelengths which are too long to detect the fine ash particles, and they cannot be field–adjusted to fit the wide variety of eruptions. Thus,

The use of conventional weather radar in vulcanology leads to two problems: the radars often use wavelengths which are too long to detect the fine ash particles, and they cannot be field–adjusted to fit the wide variety of eruptions. Thus, to better study these geologic processes, a new radar must be developed that is easily reconfigurable to allow for flexibility and can operate at sufficiently short wavelengths.

This thesis investigates how to design a radar using a field–programmable gate array board to generate the radar signal, and process the returned signal to determine the distance and concentration of objects (in this case, ash). The purpose of using such a board lies in its reconfigurability—a design can (relatively easily) be adjusted, recompiled, and reuploaded to the hardware with none of the cost or time overhead required of a standard weather radar.

The design operates on the principle of frequency–modulated continuous–waves, in which the output signal frequency changes as a function of time. The difference in transmit and echo frequencies determines the distance of an object, while the magnitude of a particular difference frequency corresponds to concentration. Thus, by viewing a spectrum of frequency differences, one is able to see both the concentration and distances of ash from the radar.

The transmit signal data was created in MATLAB®, while the radar was designed with MATLAB® Simulink® using hardware IP blocks and implemented on the ROACH2 signal processing hardware, which utilizes a Xilinx® Virtex®–6 chip. The output is read from a computer linked to the hardware through Ethernet, using a Python™ script. Testing revealed minor flaws due to the usage of lower–grade components in the prototype. However, the functionality of the proposed radar design was proven, making this approach to radar a promising path for modern vulcanology.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2019-05

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Frequency–Modulated Continuous–Wave Millimeter–Band Radar for Volcanic Ash Detection

Description

The use of conventional weather radar in vulcanology leads to two problems: the radars often use wavelengths which are too long to detect the fine ash particles, and they cannot be field–adjusted to fit the wide variety of eruptions. Thus,

The use of conventional weather radar in vulcanology leads to two problems: the radars often use wavelengths which are too long to detect the fine ash particles, and they cannot be field–adjusted to fit the wide variety of eruptions. Thus, to better study these geologic processes, a new radar must be developed that is easily reconfigurable to allow for flexibility and can operate at sufficiently short wavelengths.

This thesis investigates how to design a radar using a field–programmable gate array board to generate the radar signal, and process the returned signal to determine the distance and concentration of objects (in this case, ash). The purpose of using such a board lies in its reconfigurability—a design can (relatively easily) be adjusted, recompiled, and reuploaded to the hardware with none of the cost or time overhead required of a standard weather radar.

The design operates on the principle of frequency–modulated continuous–waves, in which the output signal frequency changes as a function of time. The difference in transmit and echo frequencies determines the distance of an object, while the magnitude of a particular difference frequency corresponds to concentration. Thus, by viewing a spectrum of frequency differences, one is able to see both the concentration and distances of ash from the radar.

The transmit signal data was created in MATLAB®, while the radar was designed with MATLAB® Simulink® using hardware IP blocks and implemented on the ROACH2 signal processing hardware, which utilizes a Xilinx® Virtex®–6 chip. The output is read from a computer linked to the hardware through Ethernet, using a Python™ script. Testing revealed minor flaws due to the usage of lower–grade components in the prototype. However, the functionality of the proposed radar design was proven, making this approach to radar a promising path for modern vulcanology.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2019-05

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Lightning Audio: Plasma Arc Speaker Technology and Marketability

Description

The Lightning Audio capstone group, consisting of Brian Boerhinger, Rahul Nandan, Jaime Ramirez, and Niccolo Magnotto (myself), united in the effort to prove the feasibility of a consumer grade plasma arc speaker. This was achieved in group's prototype design, which

The Lightning Audio capstone group, consisting of Brian Boerhinger, Rahul Nandan, Jaime Ramirez, and Niccolo Magnotto (myself), united in the effort to prove the feasibility of a consumer grade plasma arc speaker. This was achieved in group's prototype design, which demonstrates the potential for a refined product in its conventional interfacing, casing, size, safety, and aesthetics. If the potential for an excellent ionization-based loudspeaker product were realized, it would be highly profitable in its reasonable cost of production, novelty, and place in a large and fitting market.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2014-05

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Coffee Can Radar Antenna Redesign for SAR Applications

Description

The purpose of this project is to analyze the MIT OpenCourseWare coffee can radar design and modify it to be better suited for drone based synthetic aperture radar (SAR) applications while maintaining the low-cost aspect of the original design. The

The purpose of this project is to analyze the MIT OpenCourseWare coffee can radar design and modify it to be better suited for drone based synthetic aperture radar (SAR) applications while maintaining the low-cost aspect of the original design. The MIT coffee can radar can function as a ranged radar, a Doppler radar, or as SAR. Through simulations and research, the suggestions for how to modify the radar resulted in swapping the coffee can monopole antennas for patch antenna arrays or helical ordinary end-fire antennas, adding an Arduino for automatic recording of output pulses, and switching from a breadboard construction to a PCB to shrink form factor and keep costs and construction time low.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2020-12